What is "Mind?"

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rbord

Boulder climber
atlanta
Sep 24, 2017 - 09:38am PT
My mind validated what my mind believes about my mind. Isn't self-confirmation bias great? What I believe about minds is truth.

I may not have enough information to answer the question, but I'm gonna answer it anyway. What I believe is the truth. Humans, like me, are the most special-est in the universe.

Sorry robots, no room in our mind club for you. Nothing personal, it's just that our minds are already full of ourselves. :-)
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 24, 2017 - 10:21am PT
The criticism of using Wiki is apt, but it remains an interesting and useful portal, and provides the opportunity to explore the topic more.

As for reading source material, I do that and post the links to the material, after fully reading it. If you would like to discuss the implication of robots using the "mirror test" as a form of learning, that is acquiring experience of their presence in the world by observing their actions while knowing how to relate what they see to how they move, and the implications for human "awareness," I'm all for that.

If you want to talk about what Shakespeare brings to the table, I don't really need to read any more than I have. The dominance of human attributes in literature and art are a testimony that what we consider "mind" has to do mostly with our social interactions.

Even considering the poor execution of writing, the making of errors, is a tremendously interesting topic. How would a teacher explain why a student makes an error? What is the source of the erroneous act? Is it because the student is intrinsically incapable of achieving a particular skill level?

Interestingly, this is a very worn topic in education, and one that probably hasn't progressed to any degree of scientific rigor. My contention is that we still have little understanding of what the brain/mind does, and how it does it, and that our ideas of educating are hopelessly archaic.

Does anyone think that we should go back to the educational techniques of Aristotle, Plato, Socrates? Does anyone actually understand how they learned what they did, and why they make mistakes?

Does just laying out the topic from original sources and providing a pep-talk supported by the latest literary fashions (critical, educational and academic) constitute an education? Does completing a course from some crusty old icon of the academy and achieving an "A+" actually mean anything in the long run?


As for "Theory of Mind" I believe there is a mistaken reference to a theory, rather than a conjecture of how our ToM works, and what its utility is, as a perception of other people's capacity to have a mind, not to mention other things ability to have a mind.

"Truth: robots do not have minds."

Is a statement based on the human ToM. It has no other support, it is the result of human perception of mind, represented by the ToM.

But the ToM is an essential aspect of social interaction, which allows each of us to evaluate the intentions of others. This includes the possibility that declared intention may be a deception. In that sense it is a "perception" of reality, as is our (apparently) inherent understanding of physics. These are evolutionary adaptations (at least let me make that conjecture).

What my point was, and I am happy to be continually misunderstood (after all, my abuse of spelling, grammar and punctuation could only lead to misunderstanding) as I try to work these ideas out in a very skeptical audience, is that when we use this perception of mind, our ToM, to explain what mind is we are going to be led to some odd conclusions, even contradictory conclusions.

To insist that the perception of mind is mind, and the insistence that we should not question that perception (because of the authenticity of "first person" experience), cannot lead to an understanding of the phenomena which constitute mind/consciousness/awareness.

Maybe answer is in Shakespeare (and all those other great western authors of the great works of literature) and my apparently shoddy education leads to the prattle I post to this thread.
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Sep 24, 2017 - 12:34pm PT
The V14 video was very recent. As I watched it a tune was playing which sounded wonderfully appropriate, and familiar. When I went to YouTube I found no music in the soundtrack. It must have been a tune on my playlist. A Native American chant, I believe.

It must say something about mind that people growing up differently can share feelings about such an odd activity as bouldering.

Vamos!

Da vai! Da vai! (phonetic rendition of Russian)

Hi come a tie a (phonetic Native American of some sort)
rbord

Boulder climber
atlanta
Sep 24, 2017 - 01:53pm PT
Some things can only be self-verified, so I self-verified that robots have no mind. It looked like they could use my help. :-)
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Sep 24, 2017 - 02:30pm PT
I self-verified that robots have no mind.


Good work. Can you go further and verify that they never will have minds?
jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
Sep 24, 2017 - 04:19pm PT
I can't see how any ToM, the least bit scientific, can account for the spiritual aspects that JL describes. I like the idea of an empty stage, "empty awareness", but one might as well be arguing the existence of God. Just because it appears to you as an internal vision doesn't mean it really exists.
rbord

Boulder climber
atlanta
Sep 24, 2017 - 04:43pm PT
Can you go further and verify that they never will have minds?

Sure I can! In the same way that I've self-verified that human acheivements are rare and amongst the greatest such achievements in the universe.

There, I just did it! You'll just need to self-verify it for yourself.

Or, you know, if you're not quite as intelligent or perceptive or capable as I am, maybe you'll fail at it. :-)

The problem is just that your perspective is shallow and ill-informed. But don't feel bad - when you've seen the entire universe of information, the way that I have (for full details, see my published works, Magical Me!), then you'll understand that the universe is full of non-human non-me un-understanders.
WBraun

climber
Sep 24, 2017 - 05:18pm PT
Just because it appears to you as an internal vision doesn't mean it really exists.

God doesn't depend on YOU to determine his existence.

The gross materialists and material scientists all think THEY are the ultimate authorities on everything all while masquerading themselves as humble explorers of knowledge.

All while in full bias blocking anything that doesn't fit into their tiny insignificant mechanistic minds and brains .....
okay, whatever

climber
Sep 24, 2017 - 07:36pm PT
Perhaps this thread should be renamed "What is insult?", at this point....
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Sep 24, 2017 - 07:52pm PT
if you're not quite as intelligent or perceptive or capable as I am, maybe you'll fail at it. :-)


Does the sideways smiley face mean you are making a joke? It is hard enough being non-self-verifying me without intelligent perceptive capable people making fun of me.
Dingus McGee

Social climber
Where Safety trumps Leaving No Trace
Sep 25, 2017 - 03:18am PT
Ed,

To insist that the perception of mind is mind, and the insistence that we should not question that perception (because of the authenticity of "first person" experience), cannot lead to an understanding of the phenomena which constitute mind/consciousness/awareness.

Right on Ed. There is no science of mind when the perception of mind is mind [ as a ToM].



Infact for N people you can get more than N ideas of how the mind works.

Thx Largo, next......

Here is your $0.10/12.
yanqui

climber
Balcarce, Argentina
Sep 25, 2017 - 06:45am PT
Does the sideways smiley face mean you are making a joke?

It's a new generation, with new mediums of communication. Effective satire needs to be accompanied by some (at least subtle) cues that it's really satire so as not to be confused:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe%27s_law
yanqui

climber
Balcarce, Argentina
Sep 25, 2017 - 07:12am PT
Intuitions and observations are not, per se, theories

Is that an intuition, an observation, or a theory?

Edit to add: I'm not just being argumentative (because I agree). I want to understand how we might know this is true.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Sep 25, 2017 - 07:36am PT
To insist that the perception of mind is mind, and the insistence that we should not question that perception (because of the authenticity of "first person" experience), cannot lead to an understanding of the phenomena which constitute mind/consciousness/awareness.

Maybe answer is in Shakespeare (and all those other great western authors of the great works of literature) and my apparently shoddy education leads to the prattle I post to this thread.

Of course ultimately all perception is "of (the) mind" and of course that perception should be questioned but that doesn't invalidate first person experience. After all, do we need a battery of tests to assure our own existence or does our own subjective conscious reckoning validate and assure our being?

As for Shakespeare, try Harold Bloom's "Shakespeare: the Invention of the Human." You might be surprised.
WBraun

climber
Sep 25, 2017 - 07:39am PT
Intuition is from the spiritual soul, the living entity itself the real individual within the gross physical material body and subtle material (mind) body.

A machine and a robot have no intuition nor can any material scientist create intuition into them.

Nor can the material scientist create conscience in any machine as that is another symptom and tendency from the spiritual soul.

Intuition and conscience are evidence of the life force that is non-material (soul, atma) .....

MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Sep 25, 2017 - 07:48am PT
Ed,

In another thread I wrote:

“What does seem possible is simply learning to see what one is. Each of us could write about ourselves as individuals rather than about others. “Us” vs. “them” never seems to lead anywhere but into a spiraling, escalating circle.”


First of all, thanks for your reply. You talk about many things. I guess take my pick to respond to.

1. An AI program using complex algorithms can provide unpredictable outcomes, as can some Rub Goldberg machine made by a tinkerer who simply wants to watch what happens after setting up a set of complex mechanisms. What is unknown, uncertain, or ambiguous doesn’t necessarily call out for investigations of consciousness.

2. I don’t see that any form of learning (organic or mechanical) implies consciousness. I would think it would be the other way around. (Ditto for discovering so-called “errors.”)

3. Questioning whether other people have minds seems a distraction away from the primary question: “What is Mind.”

4. I’ll say it again. Just about everyone who posts here in this thread claim they have (and know) they have a mind. It is something they seem to experience.

What is it? How would they describe it?

Revisiting the socratic method might be far more useful than wondering whether robots have minds. There would seem to be no more fundamental and essential question / investigation than to simply “look” at one’s experience of experience itself and report what one perceives.

Of course, others may say: the mind is illusive, tricky, and not dependable to unearth what it, itself, is. Perhaps the mind is inherently deceptive. All these things may be true, but if they are, then it’s difficult to see how ANY mind could come up with ANY way to come to a determination of what mind is—scientific or imaginative / speculative method notwithstanding.

It seems eminently reasonable to use the most pure and empirical method available to undertake an investigation no matter how flawed it might seem to be. Just look and report individually, and then we can compare among one another.

But this is what we can’t seem to do, for some reason.
WBraun

climber
Sep 25, 2017 - 07:58am PT
Mike L -- It seems eminently reasonable to use the most pure and empirical method available to undertake an investigation

Yes .... this is the real reason for meditation and yoga as it allows control of the mind.

Once the mind is controlled and purified of material contamination only then can it see things as they are and not how it "thinks" they are.

Just the same as a horse is given a bridle to control it ....
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Sep 25, 2017 - 08:35am PT
Effective satire needs to be accompanied by some (at least subtle) cues that it's really satire so as not to be confused:



You can not confuse some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but...


But I (ironically) reject any laws, rules, dictums, or other prescriptions related to humor.


However, we could use an emoticon (or an emoji) that makes it clear to everyone that when we question their ideas we are not attacking them. It says a lot about "mind" that people feel a criticism of their ideas as an attack on themselves.

Perhaps




rbord

Boulder climber
atlanta
Sep 25, 2017 - 08:37am PT
I can't see how any ToM, the least bit scientific, can account for the spiritual aspects that JL describes.

For me, this seems close to the core of our human thinking patterns. When there's something that we can't see, we usually choose (arbitrarily, from a rational/informational perspective) to interpret that as evidence that "it doesn't exist", rather than as evidence that "we don't see".

We have an overwhelmingly strong need to believe in our belief processes - to believe that we see. Those processes are central to our survival/thrival. So we bootstrap our belief processes using self-confirmation bias.

If that means that we need to be masters of confirmation bias, then we're masters of confirmation bias. If it means that we need to be masters of survival bias ("the information that survives the filtering effects of the environment and my own capabilities of perception is all the information that exists"), then we're masters of survival bias.

If we need to put it all together and conclude that human achievements are rare and unparalleled in the universe, then that's what we do. If we need to conclude that what I believe is true and what you believe is nonsense, then that's what we do. If we need to admire the artistic and aesthetic creations and perceptions of humans above other creations and perceptions, then that's what we do.

IMHO, it's less about having a mind than it is about being a human. It's what we do.
WBraun

climber
Sep 25, 2017 - 09:01am PT
We are never ever masters.

We are eternally subordinate.

Even the gross materialist admit they are subordinate to the inferior energies (material nature) .....
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